Ed Hinkley.

Ed Hinkley: Fair minded

Chilliwack's Ed Hinkley, 35, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

Ed Hinkley remembers walking the midway at the Chilliwack Fair as a youngster, recalling vividly the sights, sounds and the smells that made the annual event so special.

When he sees a child running through the crowd now with an ear-to-ear grin and cotton candy in hand, he sees himself.

“I remember putting my rabbit in the fair, putting projects in the fair, getting that blue ribbon that probably every kid in my age group got,” he said with a smile. “It was an experience for me and an inexpensive local outing for my parents.”

Hinkley is 35 years old now, and all this time the Chilliwack Fair has continued to hold a place in his heart.

Three years ago, he became a director, joining the 18-member group that organizes British Columbia’s second longest running fair (since 1873 and counting).

Two years ago Hinkley was elevated to the role of president, giving him the opportunity to push harder on some of his ideas.

Hinkley has watched Chilliwack change dramatically since he was a child, when the vast majority of the populace was tied into agriculture.

“Back in the day, 90 per cent of the population was in agriculture, and people were interested in it,” Hinkley estimated. “Now it’s maybe five per cent. Chilliwack was built on farming, but a lot of people living here now have absolutely no ties to agriculture. So we need things that appeal to their way of life.”

It’s not re-inventing so much as modernizing.

Hinkley wants to maintain the strong agricultural presence, but he also sees BMX and skateboarding displays, musical acts and roller derby.

He sees everyone in Chilliwack visiting the fair, as opposed to the 20,000 or so who do now (over three days).

“The big issue is with the community buy-in, because anything we try to bring to the fair costs money,” he said. “Getting city support with funds, or individual support with attendance and sponsorship, is key to getting the features and providing the shows that people want to watch.”

Hinkley works at it several hours a week, 52 weeks a year, trying to make his vision a reality.

Who can say for certain what the future holds. But if energy and dedication count for anything, the Chilliwack Fair is in very good hands.


Just Posted

Chilliwack Rotary club reports $4,200 theft at storage shed

Rotary Train Shed adjacent to homeless camp on reserve land broken into Oct. 15

UPDATE: Chilliwack mother issues plea for info on missing son

Informal search party organized for 13-year-old boy not seen since Thursday

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

More roundabouts slated to be built in Chilliwack

Art or trees in roundabouts as visual obstructions makes them safer, according to safety experts

‘Devastated’ mom says 14-year-old Surrey overdose victim loved being with friends

Video of Heaven Donnelly’s overdose was circulating on Instagram, according to mother

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

VIDEO: Body discovered at scene of dumpster fire behind Langley City mall

Area behind furniture store taped off after firefighters find deceased woman while battling blaze

5 to start your day

Sentencing in murder of Surrey teen expected, Maple Ridge mayor to step away from politics and more

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

Most Read